|Publication number||US7207489 B2|
|Application number||US 11/047,240|
|Publication date||Apr 24, 2007|
|Filing date||Jan 31, 2005|
|Priority date||Jan 31, 2005|
|Also published as||CN101111849A, CN101111849B, EP1844424A2, EP1844424A4, EP1844424B1, US7387248, US20060169780, US20070152063, WO2006083532A2, WO2006083532A3|
|Publication number||047240, 11047240, US 7207489 B2, US 7207489B2, US-B2-7207489, US7207489 B2, US7207489B2|
|Inventors||Mark Drzymala, Edward Barkan, Heng Zhang|
|Original Assignee||Symbol Technologies, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (8), Classifications (9), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention is directed to laser scanners and, more particularly to a scan motor.
There are numerous standards for encoding numeric and other information in visual form, such as the Universal Product Codes (UPC) and/or European Article Numbers (EAN). These numeric codes allow businesses to identify products and manufactures, maintain vast inventories, manage a wide variety of objects under a similar system and the like. The UPC and/or EAN of the product is printed, labeled, etched, or otherwise attached to the product as a dataform.
Dataforms are any indicia that encode numeric and other information in visual form. For example, dataforms can be barcodes, two dimensional codes, marks on the object, labels, signatures, signs etc. Barcodes are comprised of a series of light and dark rectangular areas of different widths. The light and dark areas can be arranged to represent the numbers of a UPC. Additionally, dataforms are not limited to products. They can be used to identify important objects, places, etc. Dataforms can also be other objects such as a trademarked image, a person's face, etc.
Scanners that can read and process the dataforms have become common and come in many forms and varieties. One embodiment of a scanning system resides, for example, in a hand-held gun shaped, laser scanning device. A user can point the head of the scanner at a target object and press a trigger to emit a light beam that is used to read, for example, a dataform, on the object.
In an embodiment, semiconductor lasers are used to create the light beam because they can be small in size, they are low in cost and they do not require a lot of power. One or more laser light beams can be directed by a lens or other optical components along a light path toward an object that includes a dataform. The light path comprises a pivoting scan mirror that sweeps the laser light back and forth across the object and/or dataform. The mirror can be part of a scan motor comprising a spring, and a permanent magnet. The magnet is positioned in the vicinity of a drive coil, which oscillates the scan motor. There are numerous other known methods of sweeping the laser light, such as moving the light source itself or illuminating a plurality of closely spaced light sources in sequence to create a sweeping scan line. The scanner can also create other scan patterns, such as, for example, an ellipse, a curved line, a two or three dimensional pattern, etc.
The scanner also comprises a sensor or photodetector for detecting light reflected or scattered from an object and/or dataform. The returning light is then analyzed to obtain data from the object or dataform. Two known scan systems for collecting light are retroreflective scan systems and non-retroflective scan systems.
In retroreflective scan systems, the same pivoting scan mirror that sweeps the laser light to form a scan line, also receives the light that returns to the scanner. The mirror's surface is made as large as possible to capture as much returning light as possible. The returning light is directed towards a sensor, such as for example, a photodiode, that emits electrical signals corresponding to the returning light. Data is obtained from a targeted dataform by interpreting the electrical signals. The sensor can be relatively small since the field of view of the scanner is dynamic and the instantaneous field of view of the scanner is relatively small. An exemplary retroflective scan system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,949, which is owned by the assignee of the instant invention and is incorporated by reference.
In non-retroreflective scan systems, the scan mirror that pivots to create a scan line is not used to receive light returning from a target dataform. Since the pivoting scan mirror does not have to receive returning light, it can be relatively small. Instead of using a large collection mirror and a small sensor to receive returning light, the scanner comprises a relatively large sensor that detects the returning laser light across its field of view. Since the field of view of the scanner is not dependant on the scan mirror, the sensor can be positioned below the source of the scan line. An exemplary non-retroreflective scan system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,592,040, which is owned by the assignee of the instant invention and is incorporated by reference.
Known non-retroreflective scan systems use scan motors created by an injection molding (IM) process, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,529, which is owned by the assignee of the instant invention and is incorporated by reference. In an exemplary embodiment, the scan motor comprises injection molded substrates and liquid injection molded (LIM) springs. The springs can be made of silicone, which provide shock protection. Additionally, the injection molded scan motor can be made at relatively low costs. Non-retroreflective scan systems are good candidates for IM scan motors because those systems use small mirrors, and small mirrors yield low inertia and low driving voltages. Since a retroreflective system uses a relatively large mirror, LIM scan motors have not been used since the drive voltages would be too high. Known retroreflective systems use scan motors that have springs made of mylar and/or metal. These materials do not have the cost and shock benefits of a material such as silicone.
Accordingly, there is a desire for a scan motor that can also be used in a retroreflective system that is durable, resistant to shocks and can be produced at low costs. Additionally, there is a desire for IM scan motors for non-retroreflective systems that use less power.
The invention as described and claimed herein satisfies this and other needs, which will be apparent from the teachings herein.
A scan motor used with, for example, a scan module. The scan motor comprising a spring module, a magnet and a reflective element. The spring module comprises a static substrate and a dynamic substrate that are coupled together by an injection molded flexible spring. In one exemplary embodiment, the substrates are made of thermo plastic and the spring is made of silicone. The spring is relatively small in size and can reduce the power required to drive the scan motor. Additionally, the scan motor can be made at low costs and has very good shock protection.
The dynamic substrate comprises an extending member comprising a first side and a second side. A magnet is coupled to the first side of the extending member and a reflective element, such as, for example, a mirror is coupled to the second side of the extending member. The reflective element is relatively large in size and extends beyond the static substrate and/or the dynamic substrate. In an embodiment of the invention, the scan motor comprises a pair of liquid injection molded (LIM) silicone springs and the extending member is positioned between the springs.
Another exemplary scan motor implemented in accordance with an embodiment of the invention comprises
In an embodiment of the invention, the scan motor can be a part of a scan module. An exemplary scan module further comprises a chassis, a laser module, a collection element and a drive coil. Exemplary scan modules can be a scan engine and/or a scan module of a handheld scanner, a terminal, etc. The exemplary scan modules can be retroreflective or non-retroreflective.
A method of scanning, implemented in accordance with the invention comprises driving a scan motor, for example by exciting a drive coil positioned opposite the magnet of the scan motor, directing a laser beam towards the reflective element and creating a scan line. A scanner user can aim the scan line over a dataform, for example, over a barcode, and read the information displayed in the dataform.
Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, considering in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures. It is understood however, that the drawings are designed solely for the purpose of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention.
The drawing figures are not to scale, are merely illustrative, and like reference numerals depict like elements throughout the several views.
There will now be shown and described in connection with the attached drawing figures several exemplary embodiments of methods and apparatus for providing a scan motor.
It is beneficial to have non-retroreflective and retroreflective scan systems comprising a scan motor with excellent shock protection and a minimum number of parts to reduce the cost of the scan motor. For example, some technical specification require shock protection from drops of 6 feet or more when the scan systems are incorporated into an end product, such as, for example, a scanner or a terminal. The injection molded spring module or assembly of the scan motor of the non-retroreflective scan system described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,529, which is owned by the assignee of the instant invention, provides excellent shock protection and can be made at low cost, but the spring assembly's size and power requirements do not make it a good alternative for some smaller sized retroreflective scan systems.
In an embodiment of the invention, a reduced sized injection molded spring assembly can be used in a scan motor for a non-retroreflective or a retroreflective scan system or module. The exemplary spring assembly comprises a static substrate and a dynamic substrate that can be coupled together by a flexible spring. An exemplary static substrate can be, for example, an injection molded thermoplastic material that can be secured to a chassis of a scan engine and remains static with respect to the scan engine. The dynamic substrate can also be, for example, an injection molded thermoplastic material.
In an embodiment of the invention, the substrates are coupled together by a flexible spring made of LIM material, such as, for example, silicone, using an over mold process. LIM material provides excellent shock protection because it can withstand substantial elongation before failure. This property allows any shock event, such as, for example, a drop form six feet, to significantly lower g-levels by stretching out the shock event in time. Since the amount of energy in a shock event is determined by the g-level and time of the event, i.e., the amount of energy in the shock event is equal to the area under a curve of g-level vs. time, a shock event for a LIM material is long in time and the g-level much lower. Other spring materials, such as, for example, mylar or metal springs, do not absorb shock as well as a LIM material since those materials do not have much elongation before failure.
In an alternate embodiment, the dynamic substrate and the spring can be molded as one piece using the same material. The working portion of the spring is made sufficiently small to improve efficiency and to meet volume requirements of small scan engines. The dynamic substrate also comprises an extending member that extends towards the static substrate. In an embodiment, the extending member has a wedge-like shape that grows wider as it extends towards the static substrate.
An exemplary scan motor comprises a spring assembly, a mirror and a magnet. The mirror is positioned next to the spring or springs rather than between a pair of springs. The extending member of the dynamic substrate receives a mirror on a first side and a magnet on a second side, and their angles relative to the spring can be manipulated by adjusting the size and/or the angle of inclination of the receiving sides of the wedge shaped extending member. Thus, the plane in which the mirror lies can be at any angle relative to the plane in which the spring or springs lie, and the plane in which the magnet lies can also be at any angle relative to the plane in which the spring or springs lie. The extending member of the dynamic substrate comprises a cradle on its first side to receive the large mirror, and the mirror comprises a receiving structure for coupling to the cradle. The magnet is bonded, for example, using an adhesive, to the second side of the extending member.
In known non-retroreflective scan systems, a relatively small mirror is coupled to an IM spring assembly between a pair of springs. Retroreflective systems use relatively large mirrors. Therefore, the mirror of the exemplary reduced sized IM spring assembly is positioned to the side of the springs, rather than between a pair of springs. This allows the spring assembly to receive a mirror that can be larger than the space between the springs. Additionally, positioning the mirror next to the springs creates a low moment of inertia, which helps to keep the operating power of the scan engine low. Power savings are also created by reducing the size of the spring assembly. The power saving from reducing the size of the spring assembly can also be applied to a non-retroreflective scan system that has been modified to receive a smaller spring assembly.
In an exemplary scan module, the scan motor is positioned in close proximity to a drive coil, such as, for example, a bi-directional drive coil as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,824,060, which is owned by the assignee of the instant invention and is incorporated by reference. When powered, the drive coil causes the scan motor to oscillate back and forth. A laser beam impinging on the mirror is then moved back and forth to create a scan line that can be used to read dataforms, such as, for example, barcodes.
The scan motor is properly aligned within the scan module so that the laser beam reflects off the scan motor's mirror and creates a scan line in a desired direction. In an exemplary retroreflective scan module, the static substrate comprises a pivoting base, that is used to align the scan motor. The scan motor also comprises a chassis having a feature to receive the pivoting base. After the scan motor is aligned correctly, it is secured in place using an adhesive. The retroreflective scan module can be, in some embodiments, an independent scan engine that can be a module of a scanning device.
In an exemplary non-retroreflective scan system implemented in accordance with the invention, the extending member of the spring assembly can be modified to cradle a small mirror. The smaller mirror makes the scan motor even more efficient.
With reference to
Processing unit 105 can be implemented as, in exemplary embodiments, one or more Central Processing Units (CPU), Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), etc. In an embodiment, the processing unit 105 may comprise a plurality of processing units or modules. Each module can comprise memory that can be preprogrammed to perform specific functions, such as, for example, signal processing, interface emulation, etc. In other embodiments, the processing unit 105 can comprise a general purpose CPU that is shared between the scan engine 100 and the device 101. In alternate embodiments, one or more modules of processing unit 105 can be implemented as an FPGA that can be loaded with different processes, for example, from memory 120, and perform a plurality of functions. Processing unit 105 can also comprise any combination of the processors described above.
Memory 120 can be implemented as volatile memory, non-volatile memory and rewriteable memory, such as, for example, Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM) and/or flash memory. The memory 120 stores methods and processes used to operate the device 101, such as, data capture method 145, signal processing method 150, power management method 155 and interface method 160.
In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the device 101 can be a handheld scanner 101 comprising a trigger. When a scanning operation is initiated, for example the trigger is pressed, the scanner 101 begins data capture method 145. An exemplary embodiment of data capture method 145 is described below with reference to
The exemplary embodiment of
Memory 120 is illustrated as a single module in
After interacting with a dataform, some of the emitted laser light returns to the scan engine 100. The returning light is received by the scan mirror 170 and is reflected towards the collection mirror 130. The collection mirror 130, which can have an off axis parabola shape, collects the returning light and concentrates it towards the sensor 140. The sensor 140 can be implemented, in an exemplary embodiment, as a photodiode. The returning light is detected by the sensor 140 which produces a corresponding electrical signal. The electrical signal is analyzed and the target dataform is decoded.
The scan motor 165 comprises a spring module 175, a scan mirror 170 and a magnet 180.
The exemplary static and dynamic substrates 176, 177 are made of a thermoplastic material. The static substrate 177 comprises a pivoting base 178 that is used to properly align and secure the scan motor 165 to the scan engine 100 chassis. The dynamic substrate 176 comprises an extending member 181 that receives the magnet 180 and the scan mirror 170.
The extending member 181 has a first side 405 and a second side 505. The first side 405 comprises a cradle for receiving the scan mirror 170, and the second side 505 comprises a receiving structure for receiving the magnet 180. The extending member 181 has a triangular or wedge-like shape. The extending member 181 starts at one end of the spring module 175 and gets larger as it extends from the dynamic substrate 176 towards the static substrate 177.
In an alternate embodiment, the flexible springs 179 and the dynamic substrate 176 can be molded as one unit that is made of the same material. For example the combined unit can be made of silicone or thermoplastic.
Processing proceeds from step 905 to step 910, where the scanner 101 initiates a laser 110. The laser strikes a fold mirror 115 and is directed towards the scan mirror 170. About or at the same time, in step 915, the scanner 101 initiates the drive coil 135 by providing power to the drive coil 135. The magnet 180 reacts to the magnetic field created by the drive coil 135 and begins to oscillate the scan motor 165. As a result, the laser light impinging on the scan mirror 170 moves back and forth, creating a scan line.
The emitted laser light of the scan line interacts with the dataform and, in step 920, the scanner 101 receives any light that returns to the scanner 101. For example, the returning light is reflected by the scan mirror 170 towards a collection mirror 130. The collection mirror directs the returning light towards a sensor. Since the scan mirror 170 is moving back and forth, the field of view of the scanner 101 also moves back and forth.
Following step 920, in step 925, the received light is analyzed and the target dataform is decoded. In step 930, if the analysis is successful, processing proceeds to step 935, where the decoded data is further processed. For example the data can be transmitted to another device. Following step 935, processing of method 900 proceeds to step 950 where the method 900 ends. The scanner 101 may be in a standby mode, ready to process another dataform.
Returning to step 930, if the scanner 101 does not successfully decode the target dataform, processing proceeds to step 940. In some embodiments, the scanner 101 does nothing, and ends in step 950, but in other embodiments the scanner 101 can emit an audible fail indicator to the scanner operator, transmit a fail signal to an attached device, etc. Still in other embodiments, the scanner 101 continues steps 910 through 925 until the dataform is successfully read or the operator removes power to the scan engine, for example, by releasing the trigger.
While the exemplary scan motor has been described as part of a retoreflective scan system, the scan motor of the invention can also be used in a reduced sized non-retroreflective scan system. The relatively large mirror can be replaced by a smaller mirror and the angle between the flat plane of the mirror and the spring can be properly adjusted, for example to 45 degrees, by adjusting the width of the wedge shaped extending member. Additionally, the structure of the static substrate can be modified so that the scan motor can be secured to a scan module coupled to a circuit board. An exemplary scan motor of the invention can help to increase the efficiency of the non-retroreflective scan system, since the exemplary scan motor uses less power.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and detail of the disclosed invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4372676 *||Mar 16, 1981||Feb 8, 1983||Minolta Camera Co., Ltd.||Electrophotographic copying machine|
|US5168149 *||May 8, 1990||Dec 1, 1992||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Scan pattern generators for bar code symbol readers|
|US5610752 *||Mar 16, 1995||Mar 11, 1997||Opticon Inc.||Optical reader with vibrating mirror|
|US5668362 *||Jun 6, 1995||Sep 16, 1997||Geo Labs, Inc.||Light beam scanner with oscillatory scan element|
|US5764398 *||Oct 23, 1996||Jun 9, 1998||Opticon, Inc||Optical reader with vibrating mirror|
|US5920417 *||Jul 19, 1994||Jul 6, 1999||Medcam, Inc.||Microelectromechanical television scanning device and method for making the same|
|US5935071 *||Jul 15, 1997||Aug 10, 1999||Ultra-Scan Corporation||Ultrasonic biometric imaging and identity verification system|
|US6227450||Sep 16, 1997||May 8, 2001||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Electronically-controlled mechanically-damped off-resonant light beam scanning mechanism and code symbol readers employing the same|
|US6360949||Mar 24, 1999||Mar 26, 2002||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Retro-reflective scan module for electro-optical readers|
|US6547145 *||Sep 13, 1999||Apr 15, 2003||Psc Scanning, Inc.||Resonant motor driver system for data reading|
|US6592040||May 30, 2002||Jul 15, 2003||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Hand-held bar code reader with single printed circuit board|
|US6817529||Jun 25, 2003||Nov 16, 2004||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Hand-held bar code reader with single printed circuit board|
|US6824060||Sep 18, 2002||Nov 30, 2004||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Bi-directional motor drive circuit for bar code reader|
|US20030019937 *||Sep 13, 1999||Jan 30, 2003||James E. Colley||Resonant motor driver system for data reading|
|US20060169779 *||Mar 3, 2005||Aug 3, 2006||Howard Shepard||Scan module|
|US20060169780 *||Jan 31, 2005||Aug 3, 2006||Mark Drzymala||Scan motor|
|JPH05264921A *||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7387248 *||Mar 13, 2007||Jun 17, 2008||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||Scan motor|
|US8294969||Sep 23, 2009||Oct 23, 2012||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Scan element for use in scanning light and method of making the same|
|US8390909||Sep 23, 2010||Mar 5, 2013||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Molded elastomeric flexural elements for use in a laser scanning assemblies and scanners, and methods of manufacturing, tuning and adjusting the same|
|US8746563||Jun 10, 2012||Jun 10, 2014||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Laser scanning module with rotatably adjustable laser scanning assembly|
|US8915439||Feb 6, 2012||Dec 23, 2014||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Laser scanning modules embodying silicone scan element with torsional hinges|
|US9158951||Dec 16, 2014||Oct 13, 2015||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Laser scanning modules embodying silicone scan element with torsional hinges|
|US20070152063 *||Mar 13, 2007||Jul 5, 2007||Mark Drzymala||Scan Motor|
|US20110069364 *||Sep 23, 2009||Mar 24, 2011||Metrologic Instruments, Inc.||Scan element for use in scanning light and method of making the same|
|U.S. Classification||235/454, 235/462.25|
|Cooperative Classification||G06K7/10683, G06K7/10633, G06K7/10653|
|European Classification||G06K7/10S2P2D2B, G06K7/10S2P2D, G06K7/10S2P4|
|Mar 28, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DRZYMALA, MARK;BARKAN, EDWARD;ZHANG, HENG;REEL/FRAME:016402/0281;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050217 TO 20050223
|Dec 11, 2007||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Sep 22, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Sep 24, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Oct 31, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MORGAN STANLEY SENIOR FUNDING, INC. AS THE COLLATE
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:ZIH CORP.;LASER BAND, LLC;ZEBRA ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS CORP.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:034114/0270
Effective date: 20141027
|Jul 8, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, NEW YORK
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:036083/0640
Effective date: 20150410
|Aug 17, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SYMBOL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:MORGAN STANLEY SENIOR FUNDING, INC.;REEL/FRAME:036371/0738
Effective date: 20150721